Hillbilly Elegy [2020] ★★½

Want to spend some time with a dysfunctional family? Probably not. But get this: even when it goes off the rails, “Hillbilly Elegy” features a pair of terrific performances that are worth the price of admission alone (don’t believe the critics, the film isn’t all that bad either). Amy Adams and Glenn Close play mother and daughter in this family saga about a Yale student who recounts his time as a kid growing up in his Appalachian hometown in the 1990’s. To whatever degree the movie succeeds, it is largely because Adams and Close are so believable as troubled mothers . The story itself doesn’t have many surprises up its sleeve, but it does offer some emotional moments here and there, mostly because it’s based on a real autobiography. So despite the abysmal reviews, it’s hard for me to dismiss this film out of hand. It’s not the best thing you’ll stream this month, but it’s also far from being as bad as I thought it would be.

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